Nigeria; The Joke of Africa

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Some years before now, ours was proudly referred to as a host to the most number of black people on earth. Our overwhelming population alongside abundant mineral resources helped improved our status amongst the comity of nations. Often times, we without summoning, play the role of a big brother. This role of ours was what brought about peace in places like Liberia and also brought to an end the South African apartheid era. Without so much ado, Nigeria truly establish a footprint with an unrivalled comparison.

Those years are now long gone like the departure of a blooming flower on a riverside. About Nigeria,  everyone reckons that all isn’t well with her. How then did we arrive at this junction? Needless to say, action and inaction gives birth to result. It is the fashioning of nature. A fashioning that can never be wished away. Regrettably, there’s been a  very long history of reckless abandon and and wanton wastage of resources in Nigeria. A feature that has continue to sprout out it ugly head amongst successive administrations in the country. Every Nigerian possesses his or her own version of why country is what it is today. In fact, we readily  apportion blame to our leaders. A further attempt to delve into “Nigerianess” will  raise much dust.

I imagine Nigeria to be a family who were fortunate enough to have a massive roof over its head. One day, an august visitor came along. With the permission of the family’s head, the visitor was welcomed in. He was given a room in the main house. However, as the day goes by, the visitor wouldn’t leave. He had other motives. He started out by sowing seeds of discord within the family. The more this family fought against each other, the firmer the grip of the visitor became. Soon, the vistor assumed the role of the father…what follows next is better imagined than told.

A house divided against itself can never stand. Instances of corruption are veiled with religious and ethnical conjure. How do I mean? Suppose a political leader from the north is indicted for siphoning public fund, the accused would in turn try to ridicule the judiciary under the guise of ethnic or religious coloration. The pluralistic nature of the Nigeria society makes it possible for political manipulation to thrive regardless. In kwara, the recent Hijab Fracas isn’t so much about the gospel of creating a progressive state rather, it is hinged on religious dominance. Note also that same scenario applies to other section of the country. Let assume that Former Senetor Dino Maleye misbehaved while in office. He would always gain the sympathy of his own folks from the prism of ethnical and religious stand just as the people of northern Kaduna are very much likely to praise Gov. El-rufai irrespective.

This long history of subversion of justice, fairness, rightfulness and the upholding of subsidiary constitution above the main constitution continues to, without checks, rubbish the Nigeria dream. Ask a Nigerian in living in Dubai or  Ghana his or her reasons for leaving home-he or she will tell you about the many act of terrorism shielded by the power that be. If he or she is willing to give out some more information, he is sure to give you a breakdown tale of how many notable individual have suffered in the hands of the government for openly pointing to it glaring biasness. Yes! you would be told of how terrorist are rehabilitated and how bandits negotiate huge billions for…you will hear about how soboteurs in military ranking push the younger army to the battle front with very little military hardware.  You will also be told about how the police can really get brutal over very trivial issues. You will also hear about wars involving governors and former governors  over self interest thereby  plunging the state into darkness. You will also get to know about the first class citizens and those considered inferior. It is an endless list of wrongfulness perpetuated without end.

The summation of the above factors renders us as a nation of jokers instead of a true giant amongst all. In the words of the Burna Boy, the Grammy award winner for the best album, he thinks of Nigeria as “monster made by the leaders”. Unfortunately, the country is fast sinking into a state of lawlessness. While we may be quick to absolve ourselves of any wrongdoings, we should also be reminded that injustice sprouts out it ugly head when good people refuse to speak up.

– Olayinka Kayode Kingsley
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